It is always interesting to see a developer take a risk on new intellectual properties. Whether it works or it doesn’t, it helps push video games to a new place and we tend to learn a lot from that experience. Alien Rage is CI Games attempt to take the first person shooter genre and give us something that we haven’t seen before. Unfortunately, Alien Rage doesn’t do enough to make this game stand out from the other games in the genre. Sure the graphics look great and the game is certainly playable, but this game just follows the formula that we’ve seen time and time again.
The year is 2242 and the United Earth company found a large stash of promethium, a source of power that can power an entire planet, from an asteroid named Deimos 875. While you are mining the promethium on this rock, an alien race called the Vorus land and start mining the source themselves. Things were going well for a while but the Vorus attacked devastating the human miners. Now, the United Earth company hired a team of soldiers to teach the Vorus a lesson and reclaim the asteroid for the human race.
As you could probably deduce, there isn’t much of a story to speak of. Instead, it is just a series of events to focus you on killing as much stuff as you can. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but if you want to stand out in a crowded market, you have to do more than just what everyone else is doing. First Person Shooters have not traditionally story driven, so chances are you won’t care about the lack of story if you are a big fan of the genre. To the game’s credit, there were a number of funny one-liners that seem to throwback to the action movies of the 80’s much like Blood Dragon does just toned down to fit the story. The voice acting is also done fairly well, it wasn’t distracting or overdone. It fit the story and the game as a whole, so at least the dialogue stands out.
As far as gameplay is concerned, the game holds up well. The controls are responsive, the pace is quick and there is plenty of stuff to kill. The enemies come at you in waves so it feels like an old school shooter. There are also plenty of explosives around the area and enemies tend to collect near them. As long as you aim for the explosives, you’ll see a number of pretty fun multi-kills. There is a decent arsenal at your disposal and you see new weapons at a good pace. Just when you start to get bored with one weapon, another cooler weapon becomes available for you to play with. Finally, the game has a build in score chase and it encourages players to be creative to get the highest score for a level. This will encourage some players to go back and try to beat their old score by being more efficient and doing something different other than the traditional run and gun style. This high score concept works well in this game and it should appeal to old school FPS lovers.
The game itself isn’t particularly long. You get about 4-5 hours of gameplay which is broken up over 14 different levels. Even if you aren’t very good at shooters, this game shouldn’t take you that long. There are some collectibles that help flesh out the story a little bit, but it really isn’t worth the search outside of those looking to pad their Steam score. There is also a perk system that adds some replay value. The higher you push your score, the more perks you unlock which can help you get higher scores. These perks do add to the experience, so it is certainly worth shooting for. However, the real replay value lies in the high score mechanic, but even then there are only so many times you can run through a level before it becomes a grind.
From a graphical standpoint, Alien Rage looks good especially when you consider it is running on the Unreal 3 engine. While there are other games in CI Games library that look better than this game does, it is still impressive to see how CI Games managed to get so much out of the graphics. While this game may not put your rig to the test, the game manages to hold its own.
Overall, Alien Rage is a competent first person shooter. It should appeal to the FPS crowd and even get some new fans into the franchise. It really doesn’t do a lot to demand your attention since it seems to follow the standard FPS formula pretty closely. If that doesn’t bother you, then you will probably enjoy Alien Rage. There is certainly some fun to be had in this compact, action-orientated title. While the game doesn’t tweak the FPS formula enough to demand your attention, it does come at a discounted price. For $19.99, this game is certainly worth the price, so if you are okay with more of the same FPS action you’ve seen before, then you should go out there and pick this one up.
This review is based on a review copy of the PC version of Alien Rage published by City Interactive.
- Competent Shooter
- Lots of Fun to be Had
- Same Old FPS Stuff